Summer 2018 brings us Les Eaux de CHANEL, three new fragrance launches from the venerable house that draw their inspiration from Gabrielle Chanel’s favourite places. Created by master perfumer Olivier Polge, each is an olfactory journey — but in a fresh & lighter-weight form … and absolute perfection to wear with Summer’s heat still upon us, although something tells me I’ll be reaching for these long into the cooler months that are ahead.
The attention to detail that this brand is renown for, begins right from the outer packaging; featuring a crisp white box with the iconic black font, the thick corrugated paper not only safely cradles its precious cargo, but adds a rich density to the outer lettering. Finally, the effect of this paper is meant to evoke the fluidity of “rippling seawater as it recedes from the beach and leaves its mark in the sand”. And you thought this was just a simple box …
The simple yet elegant shape of the bottle is a nod to the alcohol flasks that bygone travellers would carry in their waistcoats, reimagined for today in a thinner-than-usual glass. The cap is made with a thermoset (formerly known as “Bakelite”) and produces a unique sound when popped closed, a material than required the double C’s on top to be filled in white by syringe injection., while the square clean white label is in homage to the logo that appears in the lining of the brand’s clothing — adding a sophisticated last touch. Finally, each bottle is equipped with a special pump that diffuses micro-droplets of fragrance for a longer time than a traditional spray; when the fragrance comes into contact with your skin, this unique pump action offers a soft cloud-like effect, and never hits you like a harsh stream.
Please note that Paris-Deauville is not available in Canada
“I wanted to create a sensation on the skin as if each ingredient were soaked with water”
— Oliver Polge
Paris-Biarritz Eau de Toilette Spray (CAN $149.00/125 ml) | In 1915 just two years after launching her clothing line, Gabrielle Chanel visited the Basque resort coastal town of Biarritz, and fell immediately in love with its energetic & raw aquatic beauty. For this iteration, Olivier Polge has tamed this rolling surf via an injection of fresh citrus which hits you immediately at the outset, but within a few minutes this tangy freshness softens and displays a light powdery side — finally coming to a finish that is one of the best incarnations of a day spent seaside, that I have ever come across. Notes include:
- Top: grapefruit, Sicialian mandarin, aqueous notes
- Heart: lily-of-the-valley accord
- Base: vetiver, white musk
“I wanted people to smell that gateway to the Orient, which, at CHANEL, is also an evocation of the Baroque”
— Olivier Polge
Paris-Venise Eau de Toilette Spray (CAN $149.99/125 ml) | It was the year 1920, and Gabrielle Chanel was inconsolable as her longtime lover, Boy Capel, had died tragically in a car accident. At the instigation of her friends, she visited Venice where the lushness of the city not only fired her imagination (and continues to be a source of inspiration for the House’s designs to this day), but rekindled her will to live. Drawing inspiration by the Orient’s Express’ long journey from Paris to Venice, this fragrance is indeed much like a gateway to the Baroque — one that intrigues and tantalizes, at once sensual yet still so totally urban. There is citrus here too, but a mere whisper that teases around the edges which then subtly morphs into a berry-tinged floral, coming to a languid finish via the help of warm vanilla. Notes include:
- Top: neroli essence
- Heart: red berry, iris, Grasse geranium
- Base: cedar, amber accord, vanilla, Tonka Bean
For me, fragrance always evokes an emotional response, and I know I’m not alone in this. In that regard, wearing Paris-Biarritz instantly transports me to the ocean, with the scent and feel of sea-spray upon my skin. Yes, this one is pure LOVE for me. Paris-Venise is an entirely different animal, starting off with an overt sensuality (think: a masked ball where all inhibitions are dropped), then comes to a refined skin-softness (think: waking up naked in bed, draped only in the finest sheets and the sounds of Gondoliers singing outside your window. What? It could happen). All in all, neither is meant to be a heavy hitter, so longevity will certainly depend on your unique body chemistry … but the memories they help to create will last a lifetime.
Available exclusively online at CHANEL.COM
Kindly provided by CHANEL for my unbiased consideration